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Publisher's Summary

Prince of Thorns is the first volume in a powerful new epic fantasy trilogy, original, absorbing and challenging. Before the thorns taught me their sharp lessons and bled weakness from me I had but one brother, and I loved him well. But those days are gone and what is left of them lies in my mother's tomb. Now I have many brothers, quick with knife and sword, and as evil as you please. We ride this broken empire and loot its corpse. They say these are violent times, the end of days when the dead roam and monsters haunt the night.

All that's true enough, but there's something worse out there, in the dark. Much worse. From being a privileged royal child, raised by a loving mother, Jorg Ancrath has become the Prince of Thorns, a charming, immoral boy leading a grim band of outlaws in a series of raids and atrocities. The world is in chaos: violence is rife, nightmares everywhere. Jorg has the ability to master the living and the dead, but there is still one thing that puts a chill in him. Returning to his father's castle Jorg must confront horrors from his childhood and carve him a future with all hands turned against him. Mark Lawrence's debut novel tells a tale of blood and treachery, magic and brotherhood and paints a compelling and brutal, and sometimes beautiful, picture of an exceptional boy on his journey toward manhood and the throne.

©2012 Mark Lawrence (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Dark and relentless, Prince of Thorns will pull you under and drown you in story. A two in the morning page turner. Jaw-dropping." (Robin Hobb)
"This is a lean, cold knife-thrust of a novel, a revenge fantasy anchored on the compelling voice and savage purpose of its titular Prince. There is never a safe moment in Lawrence’s debut." (Robert Redick, author of The Red-Wolf Conspiracy)
" Prince of Thorns got hold of me from page one and didn’t let go until I finished it on my second reading session on the second day. There’s humour here, gut-wrenching realism, high adventure, something that might be magic in the story, and certainly is in the telling of it. It was almost as if the shade of David Gemmell had returned, somewhat nastier for the experience. Thoroughly recommended. Thanks Mr Lawrence." (Neal Asher)

What listeners say about Prince of Thorns: Broken Empire 1

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Brutal

Grimdark at its finest. Bloody brutal in every aspect, I cannot wait to finish the series!

8 people found this helpful

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Hideous attitude to women throughout!

Way too misogynistic for me! Characters with nothing to redeem them. Clever writing but the story was not a journey I had any interest in immersing myself in!

2 people found this helpful

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A gory tale

Prepare for gore, magic and evil doings in this tale of revenge through intellectual strategy and might.

2 people found this helpful

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One of my favorites

Love this book and series.
Great to listen to the Audible version.
This book is excellent, you should download it!

5 people found this helpful

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Not a story for everyone.

I don't think it's a bad story. It's just not for me.
The lead character that we experience the story through, is a (intentionally) horrible person, with no redeemable qualities. He is the product of his surroundings and upbringing, so it's understandable why he is the way he is, but it means that I as a reader could never connect with him, so I really struggled to get invested in this story.

My only gripe with the story itself is that I don't buy for a second that a 14 year old boy, who stopped being educated at age 10 would be as clever and literate as he is.

1 person found this helpful

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younger audience

I'm 25 and felt the target audience was younger then I am. not bad though.

4 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

Not one chapter in and there's the glorifying of rape in too much depth. not necessary. won't be continuing. Have loved other novels by Lawrence but can't condone unnecessary rape culture in literature. choose any other characteristic for the soldiers to have to get their personalities across, rape not needed. language was beautiful though and im sure the story is wonderful, but lost a reader.

2 people found this helpful

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A bit too much sometimes, but overall a good book.

When I started it I felt like it went a bit far, very graphic and describing. But after the second half of the book it started to make somewhat sense. It adds to the story and paints a good picture.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazing story and voice-over

The book is very immersive. I loved the diversity of the voice narration. Fantastic work from start to finish, definitely worth the time to read.

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Wasn't great

I usually love Mark Lawrence however, this was not one of his best. A shame. Joe Jameson was good tho.

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  • lum
  • 21-08-2012

Dark, violent, sarcastic and unapologetic about it

Any additional comments?

Prince Jorg was faced with the murder of his mother and brother and it transformed him and his world view. He is not a “BATMAN” out to save the world, but just one more “BAD MAN” living in it but not giving in to it. Equipped with his own unique ultra-morals he makes his merry way and to hell with those living or dead who cross him.

6 people found this helpful

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  • William Tolstrup
  • 09-01-2019

Amazing

Captivating story with an all out brilliant storyteller! I would highly recommend this book to any and all that enjoy the fantasy /medieval genre.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Stefan
  • 26-11-2018

Addictive story

Narrator is spot on as the prince. Story is great n addictive. It's dark and bloody in a new old fantasy world.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-04-2021

Great series

Interesting main character and great narrator. Story is dark and the world has an interesting history.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-2021

Delightful story. ⭐

Craftily written and flawlessly narrated take on a story I imagined to be far darker, but again- found to be perfect in every sense of the word, with awesome world building and endearing, memorable characters. The storyline carried with it a surprising twist about halfway through and I can't wait to listen to the sequels to find out what happens. Money and recreation time well spent! - only one concern: and that was some of the gratituitous and unnecessary depictions of violence towards animals, never goes down well and for that it definitely needs to lose a star or two. 3.5 stars: ***/*.

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  • Marco Selmo
  • 21-01-2021

A refreshing points of view

Highly recommended to however enjoys a dark protagonist, grim tale and unique setting.
The book sparks discussion on morality, choice and will, especially at the end. The setting is pretty interesting, not overrated and with its own spin on magic and technology, load of hints to keep you guessing.
The MC is consistent and has a charming inner monologue. I feared it might become repetitive but was wrong.

It's refreshing because the MC is evil, no redeeming value, just ambition, cruelty and a supreme will and couldn't get enough of him.
After reading too many white knight protagonist, finally somebody who sees the world from the usually opposite point of view.
A villain amongst villains.

Narrator is on top, balancing perfectly between sarcasm and depth. I feel the voice is perfect for the Prince, since it carries so much arrogance and recklessness that MAKES the character.

Great read, will for sure keep on reading more.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-01-2020

amazing! character

Out of my last dussin audiobooks this is my favorite narrator for this harshest of characters.

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  • Kim
  • 28-09-2019

brutal

hard to get into at first and very brutal but enjoyed it by the end.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-04-2018

A fine grimdark tale

Quite refreshing spin on the fantasy genre but slightly annoying in terms of protagonist superluck

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-01-2018

Great, fresh and unique.

Narrator gives a very on point portrayal of the main character. A very gripping story if you enjoy a protagonist who is quite crazy, ruthless and unpredictable. Great book overall, but at times feels a bit rushed, especially the ending.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 10-09-2012

Brilliantly dark story, fantastic narration

Bought this audio book on a whim and it is easily the best audio book I have heard. Brilliantly complex, and often dark, characters brought to life by the excellent narration of Joe Jameson. An excellent cross between medieval epic and fantasy adventure. Highly recommended.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Keshnee
  • 14-04-2013

How cool is the narrators accent? Loved it!

Twisted and gruesome, but extremely entertaining. It's great to find a book that expands the boundaries of what is acceptable... I find that I want Jorg to win, even with his twisted and warped sense of morality. Actually in his world - where everything is just a game - he somehow seems the right saviour for it all!

11 people found this helpful

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  • Elysium
  • 14-06-2020

Impossibly young disgusting psycho boy the novel

While the writing style is fast paced and evocative the entire central premise of the book is impossible to invest in as a reader.

The main character is a sociopath who kills and rapes people for no reason - the very opening scene of the book demonstrates this. In one scene he talks about how consensual sex instead of gang-rape is a novelty.

Added to that is the fact the main character is merely 13 at the start of the book and yet acts completely detached from that age. There is no real hint of childhood anywhere in the character.

His exploits also seem to be a bit too fortunately or "flying by the seat of his pants" yet portrayed as genius strategy that always miraculously go right by some fluke of events.

However despite this is has to be said that the writing and first person point of view combined with excellent narration make it almost listenable. Almost. Instead it just makes you wish for a bath to was the gross off.

The book is apparently set in a medieval post-apocalyptic Europe and yet everyone seems to have a racist or at least "novel" reaction to anyone not white. Considering the books treatment of women it also starts to stink a little of inherent racism.

And the books treatment of women... oh dear. Possibly the worst of any fantasy book I have ever read. They seemingly exist primarily as objects to rape according to this book. The number of female characters is tiny and none are present for more than a few pages. Despite plenty of opportunities the book fails to include women in any meaningful role other than as very temporary objects to motivate the main character. The book comes away stinking a lot of sexism. A lot.

It's a shame as there's a good writing style, some nuggets of interesting world-building, and great voice work. But unlike Game of Thrones where character motivations are understandable and engrossing Prince of Thorns reasoning is sociopathic and just plain gross.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Cornelis Roos
  • 21-01-2015

Cold and brilliant

I was advised to read this book by a friend who knows me well and did not have any expectations. However, after 5 minutes in the Audiobook I was hooked - the narrator playing to his strengths and living the characters. Fantastic storyline twists and clever use of phrases and words rather than blatantly stating facts.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Janine
  • 19-03-2014

Mindblowing

Utterly unique, utterly compelling. The best fantasy in years.

The story bounces back and forth in time which can be confusing. It works, though.

Jorg is the strangest, most charismatic character I've ever read. He's depraved, despicable and thoroughly charismatic. You'll bleed for him and in the end, love him.

Without spoiling too much, Prince Jorg is a young man who witnessed the murder of his mother and brother and then absorbed the indifference of his father. He broke away and renounced everything of his former life except the drive for revenge.

His life is being manipulated, though, by magics that entered his world. His world is a strange dytopian version of ours. The hints suggest that it's our world in the future, destroyed by tinkering of mankind with fundamental science.

There's a joyful exuberance about the book that will have you 'turning' pages. I couldn't listen fast enough!

Very, highly, completely, ,firmly recommended!

8 people found this helpful

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  • Darren
  • 14-08-2014

A Royal delight

Where does Prince of Thorns: Broken Empire 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

If you liked Game Of Thrones you'll have no problem getting to grips with this, it's right up there with the likes of GOT, and anything by Joe Aberchrombie and Conn Iggulden

What was one of the most memorable moments of Prince of Thorns: Broken Empire 1?

The opening sequence is spell binding

Have you listened to any of Joe Jameson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

FIrst listen to Joe Jameson, but already downloaded the next in the series

Any additional comments?

The Story moves along at a fair pace, with plenty of twists and unexpected moments to keep you interested along the way. The versatile narration lends to the overall experience and you may find yourself loosing time or making excuses to just listen for a while longer.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mitriel
  • 28-03-2013

Thank you for a great book!

I've been a member here for over six years but never wrote reviews before. Yet having just finished Prince of Thorns: Broken Empire 1, I felt I had to say few words.

I started this book three times. First time around I thought this just wasn't my cup of tea. Second time around I thought it was just a bit too dark, too violent for me. Third time I just kept on going and by the time I reached chapter 5 I was hooked. By the time I reached chapter 7 I was in love with the style of writing and the narration. One of the best audiobooks I heard so far and can't wait to start the second book. Thank you so much Mark Lawrence and Joe Jameson!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Ann
  • 26-03-2014

Excellent story and very good narrator

What did you like best about this story?

Complex story with a twist at the end

Any additional comments?

Up there with the Games of Thrones and The Name of the Wind

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Neil
  • 07-04-2013

Fantastic

What a story! Jorg has lifted through some horrible things and he sets out to get revenge, if you only pickup one author your haven't read before it has to be this, it's a little short, but so good I couldn't stop listening, at one section as I was driving home I parked simply to hear the next part before having to turn it off, I haven't done that with any other story.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nick
  • 23-12-2012

Wow

I had no idea that this is more than just fantasy until I'd read it; it's also post-apocalyptic! Lawrence does a fantastic job of creating a far future Earth that has reverted to a dark age that also seems to incorporate magic. A stunning listen, try it today

2 people found this helpful

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